The Dying Rose to the Nightingale

WHAT were the gifts of a thousand lovers
To that one perfect song of thine,
Whose liquid cadence around me hovers,
Steeping my soul in bliss divine?
Ob to live and to love forever!
Out of my petals fades the red;
The night and thy song, O love, are over;
I am dying, and thou art fled.
Fled! Live on then, — and love another;
That cannot rob me of my bliss.
Though thou shouldst woo a hundred, no other,
Never a one, wilt thou love like this!
Thou, too, must pass death’s shadowy portal;
Naught will remain but this song of thine.
Life is fleeting, but song is immortal;
Half of thy fame is also mine.
I dare not weep though I fade forever;
More from a century none could win.
This is my joy, that never, oh never,
Save but for me, love, thy song had been!
Alice Williams Brotherton